Low Down That Is Shooting("Abaixa Que É Tiro" - in portuguese. it is an expression used by the Brazilian LGBT community that means means 'be careful because something really awesome/fabulous is about to hit you').
About a year and a half ago, I came into direct and frequent contact with transgender women. At the time I was looking for a volunteering job that would benefit women, and I realised that in the social pyramid, where white men are at the top, trans-women meet in the base, and black women are further down still. Since then, I have volunteered at the CRD (Center for Reference in Defense of Diversity), in São Paulo. Thanks to this job I’ve met countless transgender women and the great diversity among them, mainly body diversity, enchanted me. I saw there opportunity to produce a relevant piece of work by bringing this plurality to the surface and contributing to the deconstruction of stereotypes and, above all, to the construction of new and more realistic perceptions of these women.
Brazil is the country that kills the most trans-women in the world. In 2017 alone, 179 were murdered, yet contradictorily, it is also the country that consumes the most pornography with this public. By living in a trans-phobic society with a toxic sexism, ordinary activities such as going to the market or walking to work can have serious consequences for these people who are constantly exposed to verbal and physical violence. Not to mention the numerous difficulties that many face daily due to lack of passibility, disrespect to the use of the social name, lack of a health system that meets the specific needs and difficulties of integrating in the labour market. This is unacceptable and there is an urgent need for social awareness for change to occur.
Although the transgender theme is in vogue right now, there is still much to be discussed - these people need visibility because they are practically nonexistent in our society, there is no accurate information and data about the Brazilian transgender population. The degree of social invisibility of trans-people in Brazil is so great that there are no IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) censuses or IPEA (Institute of Applied Economic Research) studies that can map this segment across the country in order to promote human rights policies, in the fight against violence, and in the creation of State Public Policies to meet the due demands, which are many.
But they do exist and that is what I am trying to show in the project. I want to give positive visibility to these people, deconstruct stereotypes and above all show the enormous diversity between them; bodies that have been transitioning for some time, bodies that are not going to change but are still bodies of women, women with penises, with or without breasts. These women and I also invite you to ask yourself: does passing as a woman define being one?